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Frequently asked questions - Equality and Diversity

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions

What facilities are available for disabled parking?

Parking spaces for 'Disabled (Blue)' badge holders are located around the Hospital site and are marked on the Hospital map, which is available from clinics and main receptions. There are access ramps at all the main entrances.

Are there accessible toilets on the hospital site?

There are a number of toilets available around the hospital that are designed for people who have a physical disability. For example adjacent to the main reception and in the outpatient reception.

Do I need to tell hospital staff that I have a disability?

If a patient tells the hospital about a disability (eg a hearing difficulty), this can be entered onto the hospital computer system (HISS). This will then 'alert' all hospital staff to the patient's special need. In addition, it is very helpful if the patient informs staff about a disability each time they visit the Hospital so that any special needs can be met.

What extra measures are in place for people with a visual impairment?

In the central lift block to the C & D wards, all lifts speak their arrival at the floor.

The Eye Department (Clinic 3) can provide information and support for people who have a visual impairment. The Visual Impairment Information Provider can give advice about the benefits for the registered blind or partially sighted, and other support services that are available. Contact numbers are Tel: 01223 586 780 (Hospital Extension 6780).

Talking books are available for patients to listen to during their stay in Hospital. They can be obtained from:

  • The Eye Department, Clinic 3, Tel: 01223 586 780 (Hospital Extension 6780);
  • The Eye Unit: Tel: 01223 274 411 (Hospital extension 4411);
  • Voluntary Services Department or Tel:01223 217 356

All departments have signs that can be placed next to a patient's bed to remind staff that the patient has a sight impairment.

I have a physical disability and will be an inpatient at Cambridge University Hospitals, do I need to tell anyone in advance?

For inpatients who have a physical disability, there is equipment on each ward to help support them. If possible, do contact the ward in advance of your admission to let them know which equipment you need during your stay and we can arrange for it to be ready for you on admission. You might prefer to bring your own equipment with you into the hospital - but please label it clearly with your name and address.

I have a hearing impairment, what measures will the Hospital take to help me communicate with the staff?

All clinics and ward receptions have a copy of the 'Sympathetic Ear' poster, which asks patients to alert ward and clinic staff if they have an hearing impairment. Behind each poster, there are clear guidelines for Hospital staff about how to communicate with individuals who have an hearing impairment.

If it would help you to use an amplifier or communicator, please ask the Hospital staff to make this available to you. Amplifiers and communicators are particularly useful to people who have a minor hearing loss. Amplifiers and communicators are stored in red boxes at each Clinic reception desk, the main reception at Addenbrooke's, the Rosie Hospital and the Management Offices at Fulbourn Hospital. Further amplifiers and communicators can be borrowed from the Audiology Department Tel: 01223 217 797

What do I do if my hearing aid breaks, or I need hearing aid batteries while I am an inpatient?

The audiology department is available to assist you with general enquiries about hearing aids and can supply replacement hearing aid batteries if required.

If you are a patient and need help with you hearing aid or need to borrow a communicator during an inpatient stay, please contact the Audiology Department Tel: 01223 217 797

Are there any facilities for people with an hearing impairment to use telephones?

All public payphones within the Hospital have a loop facility in the handset. The Hospedia telephones on the wards also have this facility.

Text telephones (minicoms) are available for use on the wards, just ask a member of Hospital staff to obtain one for you. They are kept at the Addenbrooke's and Rosie Hospital receptions, and the Management Offices at Fulbourn Hospital. If you need to use the Typetalk service with the minicom, the Hospital has a Typetalk account, which is 777837. The contact number for Typetalk is 0800 515 152 (hearing user), 0800 959 598 (textphone user).

Should I tell Hospital staff how to help me with my disability?

The members of the Disability Awareness Group and other disability specialist staff (such as audiologists) in the Hospital make every effort to make all Hospital staff aware of the special needs of individual patients. However, all staff rely on the patients and carers to let them know how they can be best supported.

Hospital staff learn a lot from patients and carers, and so don't be afraid to tell staff how you want to be communicated with and what equipment you require to assist you during you stay at the Hospital.

Can I get general advice about disability issues within Addenbrooke's and the Rosie?

Additional advice about disability issues is available from the independent advice organisation Disability Cambridgeshire, which has advice sessions in the Information Centre at Addenbrooke's. They also have a comprehensive website:

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) provide advice and support about disability issues.

How can patients and carers become involved in disability awareness at Addenbrooke's and the Rosie?

The Hospital has specific routes for receiving suggestions and complaints about its services, including access. In the first instance, patients and carers should discuss any immediate problems, concerns or suggestions with the ward or clinic staff or the ward manager. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is very pleased to receive feedback from patients, carers and visitors and help them with their problems.